As legal letters fly, Cusip licensing debate rolls on

Cusip Global Services’ licensing agreements with third-party data providers sit at the heart of an antitrust case in New York

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In May, a US broker-dealer received a letter from FactSet threatening to turn off its access to Cusips – nine-digit alphanumeric codes that uniquely identify nearly all North American stocks and bonds.

The broker-dealer wasn’t the first to receive such a letter, which demanded that it sign a licence agreement with Cusip Global Services (which is owned by FactSet) in order to keep its access to Cusip data – despite the firm not receiving any data directly from CGS but through other third-party

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